If you are going to OpenWorld this week, here is what you can expect to hear about the future of on-prem EPM and Financial Close. I had started drafting this post on my long flight coming back from Kscope18 in June. So the information is a few months old but should still be mostly true. I thought this was my last chance to finally publish this post… It’s a bit like timing the sale of your iPhone just before the next one becomes available!
The big on-premise news is EPM version 11.2. It should be released early 2019 and maintained through 2030. The focus will be on stability, so there will be some new features when the version is released, but afterwards don’t expect many new things. There should be regular patches to ensure “third party support” so that your EPM platform remains compatible with the evolution of your IT landscape.
The new features we can expect regarding the financial close suite are:
- Autonomous consolidations: Oracle has been talking about it for many years, hopefully it will become real with 11.2. The idea is that instead of having users run consolidations, and instead of scheduling them at pre-defined times, consolidation will happen automatically any time CPUs are not fully utilized.
- Web-based metadata editor: if you don’t use EPMA, it means you have to extract metadata and use the windows client editor which seems to have been designed around the same time as FR Studio and looks just as good as the haircuts from that time… In 11.2, this should be replaced by a web-based metadata editor that will be different from EPMA, probably directly inside HFM. I hope it will also have some kind of SmartView connectivity or other ways to make mass metadata loads and updates.
- New functionality to archive or delete unwanted data.
- Performance improvements — we can’t get too much of that!
- Regarding HTP there should also be a few new features, such as the automation of states NOLs and credits.
11.1 debuted more than 10 years ago, not long after Oracle acquired Hyperion. This numbering change also reflects profound changes in the inner-workings of EPM. The new version will be based on Middleware version 12g and the foundation will be completely revamped to be based on a relational database instead of having to rely on a combination of relational, LDAP (native directory) and file system (Workspace).
11.2 will support:
- OS: Linux , AIX 7.2, Windows 2016
- RDBMS: Oracle 12.2, SQL Server 2016
- Browser: Edge, Chrome, Firefox
- JDK 1.8
This list is not exhaustive and may still evolve as we get closer to the release date. As one Kscope attendee noted during the conference, the supported versions of some of these third party components are already outdated. Maybe there will some updates on that front during OpenWorld.
Because the technical foundation is completely renewed, the upgrade will be “out-of-place”, which means that you will not be able to just apply it as a patch on top of your existing installation. It does not necessarily mean that you need to buy new hardware, although it can be a good opportunity to invest in new machines that can sustain the next 10 years, but it means the process should be a little more involved than we were used to in the past few years.
220.127.116.11 will be supported until December 2020, which means that if you want to stay on-premise and want to remained on a supported version, you will have about two years to go from 18.104.22.168 to 11.2.
22.214.171.124 is already out of support: there are no more bug fixes for this version. If you are on 126.96.36.199, you are probably experiencing browser issues (the latest version of Firefox is not compatible with XUL anymore) and you should upgrade to 188.8.131.52 now. This will also probably simplify your migration path to 11.2.
If you are going to San Francisco, I can’t promise you’ll meet gentle people with flowers in their hair, but I’d love to hear from you if you learn something more about the future of on-premise EPM!